When Love Meets Faith
Guest Blogger: Meagan Henderson
In no way am I an expert on relationships, especially when you add faith to the mix. What I can offer you though is insight from my own personal experience of maintaining and deepening my faith while being in a committed relationship.
If you keep up with my social media you will probably have seen me post my boyfriend, Chris, very often. He and I have been in a relationship for almost a year and a half and it has been no walk in the park. Many of you may look at this and say “you’re young.. what problems do you have?” “You don’t have bills, kids, XY&Z.” Which is true. However, it doesn’t mean we are immune from obstacles.
Before I got into my current relationship, faith was never essential in my previous ones. It wasn’t a deal breaker if you weren’t a believer and overall I didn’t care if my relationship reflected God and his will. Growing up, I found myself in and out of relationships mainly because I was seeking validation from the wrong areas. I wanted to be loved, cared for and ultimately I loved the idea of being “in love” and having someone to be there with you through thick and thin.
What I didn’t know at that time was, that I was setting myself up for failure. I was living and focusing on the flesh and my own personal desires, rather than God’s.
The more I matured in my faith, the more I realized that I was going about relationships all wrong. In fact, I was working against God, because I was trying to control things myself. If you’re a believer then you can agree that trying to control things on your own only sets you up to fall. One must truly surrender to God and let them take the wheel of your life, because his plan is far greater than our own.
My whole freshman year of college, I struggled with my faith. I was baptized the summer before and I didn’t realize how challenging the walk would be, especially in college. I was on a journey that many of my peers around me were not on, including my previous boyfriend at the time. This made my walk very inconsistent and I found myself falling often. I eventually made a promise to myself that the next relationship I got into I was going to make sure it was with someone who was one the same journey.
It was the end of my freshman year when I met Chris. In all honesty, I wasn’t trying to get into anything serious and neither was he. Plus, Chris was older, the star of the football team, and he was well-known on campus, which made me feel as if I was setting myself up to get hurt. It was innocent in the beginning, flirting here and there but nothing too serious. The more we talked and got to know one another, the more I noticed a difference about him. He had a fire burning for God and my preconceptions of him were wrong.
It wasn’t all rainbows when we got together though. I was a wreck and didn’t realize how broken I was until he came into my life. I was filled with insecurities, hurt, regret, shame and so much more. I do want to make one thing clear though…I believe that you need time alone to find yourself, but I also believe that the right person can help you become the best version of yourself. Without him, I wouldn’t have dealt with my baggage and I would’ve continued to carry it to the next person.
To this day and as crazy it may sound, I believe God used Chris to introduce me to the best version of myself.
The first couple months, I found myself falling back into the same habits and looking to Chris for my happiness and comfort. Which triggered most of our arguments and problems. To be dependent on someone else for your happiness is a pressure that no one can truly handle. Flesh will fail you. Not saying this to put anyone down, but we are humans and we fall short. God does not.
“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man” -Psalm 118:8
As our relationship continued and both of us worked on deepening our faith. I understood why I kept failing in relationships. I was expecting the other person to complete me. When in reality I was already complete, because I knew Jesus. For all these years, the love and comfort I longed for was already within me. Understanding this truth, was the turning point in our relationship. I was able to let go and forgive those who hurt me, but most importantly I found myself and worth through God and his truth.
My relationship is far from perfect and just because we know God, doesn’t mean it’s easier. We struggle, we argue, and we fall just like any couple, but what has gotten us through and continues to get us through hard times is our faith. We have worked hard to make God the center of our relationship. Striving to love each other, as God loved the church. We still have things to work on, but we continue to keep our eyes on God and lean on each other for support. The young woman I was when I entered this relationship, is not the same woman, Chris stares at today. When you give all power to God, it’s amazing where he will take you. Allowing him to have my relationship has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Please note, EVERYONE’S relationship and walk with Christ is unique. Do not look at others, especially mine, and envy, because no one’s relationship is perfect. At the end of the day, it all comes down to trust. Trusting in God’s timing, trusting that he hears you, and trusting that he knows best. Be patient.
Some lessons I have learned, that I want to share.
For ones who are single:
- Acknowledge your baggage
- Find comfort in God’s Love
- Know that God’s timing is always the right timing.
- Be patient, for if God hasn’t placed someone in your life yet, it’s probably for reason.
- What you put out, is what you will receive.
- Pray not for “someone that will complete you” but for “God to complete you”
For ones in a relationship:
- First, know God yourself
- Pray together and for each other.
- Focus on your own relationship.
- Keep your business private.
- Keep God at the center.
- Don’t live of the Flesh, but of the spirit.
- Forgive. Forgive.
- Most importantly, no matter how many times you fall, keep seeking God in your relationship. He will bring you through the tough times.